June 04, 2014 New York
Anna Sui is a collector. An idea gatherer, an accumulator of aesthetics, a lover of things. This season found her very much in collector mode, showing off some of her best-loved, tried-and-true themes. Indeed, there was even an illustrated print here based on "Anna's favorite things," riffing on her hoard of stuff at home. Insofar as there was a concept galvanizing this collection, that was it. Really, though, the idea was pretty much this: make flattering, easy-to-wear clothes with a certain romantic vintage appeal. For the most part, the vintage reference was Art Deco, the Sui stock-in-trade, and the clothes were dresses, the bedrock of her business. A short, bias-cut number with fluttery sleeves, shown in a green-tinged print and in gold, effectively summed up that vibe. But there were other good pieces beyond the dresses—the kimono jackets had a ton of appeal, as did the loose, caftan-style tops and the varsity knits inspired by collegiate prep of the forties and fifties. Sui was in magpie mode; her influences were hardly monogamous to one era. She also created some lovely embroidered organza looks redolent of Victoriana, and a terrific button-down maxi dress, shown with matching tap shorts, that would have looked right at home in the early seventies. There were plenty more ideas in this collection, too—four deliveries' worth, each group distinctively crowded with engaging prints and flea-market influences. Piece by piece and as a whole, it was very Anna Sui.
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